Tag Archives: U.K.

Christine Sinclair injured as Canada blanks Wales in U.K. friendly

Canada blanked Wales 3-0, but lost captain Christine Sinclair to an injury in the first half of a soccer friendly Friday.

Sinclair, playing her first game for Canada in more than a year, had to leave two-thirds of the way through the first half after contact with a Welsh player with Canada leading 1-0.

The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., was clearly in pain as she lay on the ground but hobbled off the field under her own power in the 32nd minute, holding one of her boots.

There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.

Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens and Jessie Fleming scored for Canada at Leckwith Stadium as coach Bev Priestman got the offence she has been looking for. Canada had scored just three goals in its previous seven matches (1-4-2).

It marked the first time the Canadian women had scored three goals or more since Feb. 1, 2020, when they blanked Jamaica 9-0 in Olympic qualifying play.

Canada plays No. 6 England Tuesday

Canada is ranked eighth in the world, compared to No. 31 for Wales. The two teams had met just once before, with a teenage Sinclair scoring twice in a 4-0 win at the 2002 Algarve Cup.

Canada heads 235 kilometres northeast next to Stoke-on-Trent for a game Tuesday against No. 6 England.

Canada turned its early superiority into a goal in the 25th minute with Quinn, who goes by one name, playing provider. Taking advantage of a poor clearance, the midfielder sliced open the Welsh defence with a superb looping ball from inside her own half that put Rose in all alone. The University of Florida forward smashed a high shot home for her 10th international goal.

Viens, who had replaced the injured Sinclair, made it 2-0 in the 58th minute with a nice touch at the near post to knock in a Janine Beckie cross for her first for Canada in her fourth appearance.

Fleming made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute, curling in a beautiful shot past goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan for her 11th goal in Canadian colours.

Sinclair had not played for Canada since a tournament in France in March 2020. She missed the SheBelieves Cup in February due to injury.


Sinclair, who earned her 297th cap Friday after tweeting “It’s go time” prior to kickoff, is the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 186. She almost notched No. 187 in the 21st minute after a giveaway in a dangerous position by Rachel Rowe but a diving O’Sullivan was able to palm her shot around the post.

Controlling the tempo

Priestman fielded a more experienced starting 11 than she was able to at the SheBelieves Cup, with several veterans inured or unable to take part in the Florida tournament due to quarantine issues.

Her starting 11 Friday came into the match with a combined 939 caps — compared to 604 for the SheBelieves Cup finale 2-0 loss against Brazil on Feb. 24.

Only six of the starters against Brazil were back in the 11 Friday, with Sinclair, Jordyn Huitema, Ashley Lawrence, Vanessa Gilles and Quinn joining them.

The Canadians controlled the tempo early, moving the ball around and threatening on several corners. Quinn was influential in midfield.

Wales had a chance in the 29th minute but a deflected shot proved to be easy pickings for goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Sinclair’s departure seemed to rattle Canada. Wales came on as the first half wore down, playing more in the Canadian end. Still Canada had 59 per cent of the possession in the first 45 minutes, outshooting Wales 6-4 (2-0 in shots on target).

Priestman brought on Beckie and Jayde Riviere in the 53rd minute with Beckie soon influencing play.

Wales argued unsuccessfully for a penalty in the 60th minute when Natasha Harding went down after contact with Labbe. Canada came close in the 69th but O’Sullivan tipped Viens’ powerful shot over the crossbar.

Canadian substitute Sarah Stratigakis had a good chance at the far post but was off target.

Friday’s game was the first as Wales coach for Gemma Grainger, who worked in the England setup with Priestman.

It was game No. 4 for Priestman at the Canada helm. She went 1-2-0 at the SheBelieves Cup, losing to the U.S. and Brazil and beating Argentina.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Lawrence says hungry Canadians feel confident ahead of upcoming U.K. friendlies

Head coach Bev Priestman’s message to the Canadian women’s national soccer team after the SheBelieves Cup in February was simple: “Show up ready in April.”

Canada will have two European friendlies over the next five days to see whether they’ve done their homework.

Canada plays world No. 31 Wales in Cardiff on Friday and No. 6 England in Stoke-on-Trent on April 13 as part of its ongoing preparations for the Tokyo Olympics less than four months from now.

The matches give Canada a look at two different styles — a buckle-down defensive Welsh side and the Lionesses, a solid back-to-front squad that plays direct and is a threat on the counter attack.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Signa Butler previews Canada’s upcoming U.K. friendlies:

Head coach Bev Priestman has a chance to determine her strongest 18-player roster as Canada come up against Wales and 6th-ranked England in back to back friendlies this month. 9:02

So, are the Canadians ready? For national team standout Ashley Lawrence, the first few days of camp have looked promising.

“It’s a very healthy, competitive environment,” Lawrence told reporters Thursday from Cardiff. “From day one, I’ve been pushed and hopefully I’m pushing others around me. We’ve been looking really good on the field and our goal is to show that in the game [against Wales] and against England.”

It’s the first time in over a year the 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., has been with her national teammates. She wasn’t released by her professional club, France’s Paris Saint-Germain, for the SheBelieves Cup due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic.


Though she and PSG teammate Jordyn Huitema, Lyon’s Kadeisha Buchanan and injured players like Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson weren’t at that February camp, Lawrence said she was completely invested, watching all the games and training sessions and even virtually attending team meetings.

But nothing beats being together in person.

“It’s been nice to catch up and see players I haven’t seen in a long time, even some new faces, and also get acquainted with the new staff,” said Canada’s 2019 player of the year.

Priestman eager to gauge progress

Priestman’s first matches in charge at the SheBelieves Cup saw Canada win one game — 1-0 in stoppage time over Argentina — and lose two, a hard-fought 1-0 contest to No. 1 United States and 2-0 to fellow No. 8 Brazil.

While the February tournament wasn’t a true evaluation of her squad, as it was hurt by player injuries and availability issues, Priestman still had concerns over two things — the team’s match fitness and lack of goal scoring.

“I felt that while we were fresh, we could compete,” she said on a recent media call. “I think that U.S. game, granted we lost, but I felt we competed even with a weakened roster. But with the reality of COVID and a lot of players not touching a ball for a long time, I felt that by the third game, physically we struggled.

“The tight turnaround between these [April] games is going to let me see the progress made from a lot of players who’ve gone back to the NWSL, NCAA, particularly North America, they were out of season.”

Those players have since been prepping for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup, which begins this weekend, while the NCAA players have been gearing up for their spring seasons.

Hungry to score goals

Canada’s goal-scoring issue is a more complicated one to solve, but Priestman and her staff are confident it will come if players put the work in.

The staff did an analysis after the tournament and surmised they definitely created chances and were in much better positions against those teams historically, but “ultimately it is about putting the ball in the back of the net,” Priestman said.

“I’ve challenged the group away from camp. You don’t develop in those areas on camp, you have to turn up ready,” she said, adding that many players went back to their clubs and were doing extras after training to gain that confidence.

Manchester City’s Janine Beckie is an example, scoring recently in Champions League against Barcelona and in league versus Tottenham.

“We have to be ruthless in both boxes,” Priestman added. “Stopping goals but also scoring them, and I think you stick with that process [by] getting in those positions. It’ll only help because we had the chances.”

Lawrence agrees.

“I think we have shown a lot of growth in a short period of time and we are on the right track,” she said. “We have a lot of players on the field that are hungry to score some goals. We know the quality and the talent that we have. It’s about putting the ball in the back of the net.

“I’m really confident that we’re going to be doing that in these two games.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Duchess of Cambridge joins U.K. mourners defying vigil ban to honour Sarah Everard

Hundreds of people in London defied coronavirus restrictions Saturday to pay their respects to a 33-year-old woman who disappeared while walking home and was found dead a week later.

The case, which sent shockwaves across the U.K. because a police officer has been charged with her kidnapping and murder, also has spurred a national conversation about violence against women.

Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested on suspicion of abducting and killing marketing executive Sarah Everard, who was last seen walking home from a friend’s apartment in south London on the night of March 3.

WATCH | U.K. police officer charged in kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard:

An officer with London’s Metropolitan Police has now been charged with kidnapping — and killing — a young woman who disappeared last week. British women are voicing their outrage. 2:02


Organizers at Reclaim These Streets said they had cancelled a vigil on Clapham Common in south London near where Everard, 33, was last seen. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Everard’s body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Kent, more than 80 kilometres southeast of London, on Wednesday. A post-mortem examination was taking place, police said Friday.

In the wake of Everard’s disappearance and killing, many women have taken to social media to share their own experiences of being threatened or attacked while walking outside.


Despite police warnings, many still went to Clapham Common to leave flowers, letters and drawings at a memorial to Everard. They stood in silence and the occasional sound of sobbing could be heard as several police officers looked on. (Justin Tallis /AFP via Getty Images)

Organizers had hoped to hold “Reclaim the Streets” vigils in Everard’s memory on Saturday but cancelled the in-person events after a judge refused to grant an order allowing them to go on despite coronavirus restrictions that bar mass gatherings.

The organizers said they were instead raising funds for women’s causes. They also urged people to light a candle on their doorstep rather than attend large gatherings.


Everard’s killing has led many women to share their fears of walking alone and experiences of being harassed or attacked by men in public, with calls for more action to be taken to address violence against women and abuse. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Despite the court ruling, hundreds of people turned up Saturday in the Clapham area of London, near where Everard was last seen.

Many laid flowers at a make-shift memorial. Among them was Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who was seen pausing for a moment in front of the sea of flowers.


As night fell, people gathered at the site to pay their respects and protest at the lack of security they felt when out alone, with some chanting “shame on you” at police who were present.

Reuters witnesses saw police drag a small number of people away from the gathering on Clapham Common.

Police were not immediately able to confirm the number of arrests.

WATCH | Several detained at Sarah Everard vigil:

Several people were detained during a vigil for a woman murdered in London. The case that has caused widespread outrage in Britain about women’s safety. 1:00


Some at the vigil protested the lack of security they felt when out alone, with some chanting ‘shame on you’ at police who were present. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

U.K. police officer charged with murder, kidnapping in Sarah Everard’s death

British police have charged an officer with the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, whose disappearance in London last week has sparked anger and fears among women about their safety.

Constable Wayne Couzens, 48, who guarded diplomatic buildings, will appear in court on Saturday. Everard disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in south London on March 3.

The Metropolitan police had confirmed that a body found in a wood outside London was that of the missing woman.

Her case has led to an outpouring of personal accounts by women of their own experiences and fears of walking streets alone at night, and a campaign for action to address this.

“The investigation continues of course,” Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave told reporters. “I would like to use this opportunity to encourage anyone that thinks they might have useful information to give, to get in contact with us.”


Police officers search a grassy area behind a house in Deal, U.K., on Friday. (Paul Childs/Reuters)

He had said earlier in the day that he understood the hurt and anger sparked by the case.

“Those are sentiments that I share personally,” Ephgrave said. “I also recognize the wider concerns that are being raised quite rightly about the safety of women in public spaces in London and also elsewhere in the country.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would do all she could to protect women and girls following the outcry that has followed Everard’s disappearance.

“Every woman & girl should be free to walk our streets without the slightest fear of harassment, abuse or violence,” she said on Twitter.

However, police have been criticized by organizers of a planned “Reclaim These Streets” vigil on Saturday near to where Everard was last seen, after officers said it could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A woman in her 30s, who media said was the partner of Couzens, was released on police bail after having been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Significantly higher death rate reported for coronavirus variant first detected in U.K.

A highly infectious variant of the novel coronavirus that has spread around the world since it was first discovered in Britain late last year is between 30 per cent and 100 per cent more deadly than previous dominant variants, researchers said on Wednesday.

In a study that compared death rates among people in Britain infected with the new SARS-CoV-2 variant — known as B117 — against those infected with other variants of the COVID-19-causing virus, scientists said the new variant’s mortality rate was “significantly higher.”

The B117 variant was first detected in Britain in September 2020, and has since also been found in more than 100 other countries.

It has 23 mutations in its genetic code — a relatively high number — and some of them have made it spread far more easily. Scientists say it is about 40 per cent to 70 per cent more transmissible than previous dominant variants that were circulating.

‘A threat that should be taken seriously’

In the U.K. study, published in the British Medical Journal on Wednesday, infection with the new variant led to 227 deaths in a sample of 54,906 COVID-19 patients, compared with 141 among the same number of patients infected with other variants.

“Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly, this makes B117 a threat that should be taken seriously,” said Robert Challen, a researcher at Exeter University who co-led the study.

Independent experts said this study’s findings add to previous preliminary evidence linking infection with the B117 virus variant with an increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

Initial findings from the study were presented to the U.K. government earlier this year, along with other research, by experts on its New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, or NERVTAG, panel.

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, said the precise mechanisms behind the higher death rate of the B117 variant were still not clear, but “could be related to higher levels of virus replication as well as increased transmissibility.”

He warned that the variant was likely fuelling a recent surge in infections across Europe.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Health News

U.K. won’t take vaccines from COVAX program, says high commissioner

The United Kingdom won’t access its share of vaccine doses from the COVAX program, says British High Commissioner to Canada Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque.

In an interview with Power & Politics, d’Allegeershecque told host Vassy Kapelos that while the United Kingdom is one of the biggest contributors to COVAX, it still doesn’t see the need to access its share of the vaccine doses. 

“I don’t think there are any plans for us to access the doses, but we were in a slightly different position from Canada,” she said.

The federal government has faced criticism from charities and opposition parties over its decision to access Canada’s share of doses from COVAX — a global vaccine-sharing initiative jointly co-ordinated by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.

In a media statement, Green Party leader Annamie Paul said she was “embarrassed” by Ottawa’s decision to access vaccines from a program primarily designed to help developing countries.

But the federal government defended its action, saying COVAX has always been part of the government’s efforts to procure vaccines.

“COVAX has two streams. It has the self-financing stream for countries like Canada to purchase vaccines through and then it has the advance market commitment for donations to be made for countries who can’t purchase them,” said International Development Minister Karina Gould in a Power & Politics interview. 

The high commissioner also noted that Britain’s vaccine rollout is more advanced that Canada’s program.

“We’ve already vaccinated 15 and a half million people, which is something like 23 per cent of the population,” said d’Allegeershecque. “So at the moment, we’re able to access the doses that we need without having to draw from the COVAX facility.” 

Britain also has the capacity to manufacture its own vaccines domestically.

As it stands, Canada could receive up to 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX program by the end of March.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

The U.K. has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world. But on the ground, getting the shots into people's arms isn't always an easy task. We look at why vaccine hesitancy is a concern particularly in racialized communities.

How the U.K. is handling vaccine hesitancy in racialized communities

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

How the U.K. is handling vaccine hesitancy in racialized communities

The U.K. has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world. But on the ground, getting the shots into people’s arms isn’t always an easy task. We look at why vaccine hesitancy is a concern particularly in racialized communities.

CBC | World News

Travel ban over Brazilian variant precautionary, U.K. transport minister says

A Brazilian variant of the coronavirus is significant enough to justify stopping flights from South America as a precaution, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday, as a leading scientist said it had been detected in Britain.

Britain will ban arrivals from South American countries and Portugal because of concerns over the new Brazilian variant.

The Brazilian variant shares some characteristics with those found in Britain and South Africa, which are believed by scientists to be more transmissible but not to cause more severe disease.

“As with the variant that we saw in Kent [southern England] or the one in South Africa, it’s significantly enough of interest to us just to take this precautionary approach of stopping all those flights from Brazil [and] South America,” Shapps told Sky News.

“Our scientists aren’t saying that the vaccine won’t work against it … [but] we do not want to be tripping up at this last moment [of vaccine rollout], which is why I took the decision as an extra precaution to ban those flights.”

Shapps later said scientists believed vaccines would work on the Brazilian variant, going further than the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance.

Variant to be traced ‘very carefully,’ scientist says

Vallance on Wednesday said there wasn’t evidence vaccines wouldn’t work but said the Brazilian variant was more of a risk and “we don’t know” if it would affect the immune response.

A leading British virologist said the Brazilian variant had been traced in Britain.

“There are two different types of Brazilian variants and one of them has been detected [in the U.K.] and one of them has not,” Wendy Barclay, virologist at Imperial College London, told journalists, adding it was “early days” in the understanding of the variants.

Along with U.K. and South African variants, the Brazilian variant is “of concern” and would be “traced very carefully,” she said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

U.K. scientists worry vaccines may not protect against coronavirus variant found in South Africa

U.K. scientists expressed concern on Monday that COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in Britain may not be able to protect against a new variant of the coronavirus that emerged in South Africa and has spread internationally.

Both Britain and South Africa have detected new, more transmissible variants of the COVID-19-causing virus in recent weeks that have driven a surge in cases. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday he was now very worried about the variant identified in South Africa.

Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said that while both variants had some new features in common, the one found in South Africa “has a number additional mutations … which are concerning.”

He said these included more extensive alterations to a key part of the virus known as the spike protein — which the virus uses to infect human cells — and “may make the virus less susceptible to the immune response triggered by the vaccines.”

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, also noted that the variant detected in South African has “multiple spike mutations.”

“The accumulation of more spike mutations in the South African variant are more of a concern and could lead to some escape from immune protection,” he said.

Scientists including BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin and John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, have said they are testing the vaccines against the new variants and say they could make any required tweaks in around six weeks.

Greater concentration of virus particles with variants

Public Health England said there was currently no evidence to suggest COVID-19 vaccines would not protect against the mutated virus variants. Britain’s health ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The world’s richest countries have started vaccinating their populations to safeguard against a disease that has killed 1.8 million people and crushed the global economy.

There are currently 60 vaccine candidates in trials, including those already being rolled out from AstraZeneca and Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm.

WATCH | The unknowns of single vaccine dosing:

According to epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos, the efficacy of giving people just one shot, or a half dose of a coronavirus vaccine, is unknown as there is no hard clinical data. 7:16

Scientists say both the variants from South Africa and the U.K. are associated with a higher viral load, meaning a greater concentration of virus particles in patients’ bodies, possibly contributing to increased transmission.

Oxford’s Bell, who advises the U.K. government’s vaccine task force, said on Sunday he thought vaccines would work on the variant from the U.K., but said there was a “big question mark” as to whether they would work on the variant from South Africa.

BioNTech’s Sahin told Germany’s Der Spiegel in an interview published on Friday that their vaccine, which uses messenger RNA to instruct the human immune system to fight the virus, should be able to protect against the variant found in the U.K.

“We are testing whether our vaccine can also neutralize this variant and will soon know more,” he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Gerry Marsden, U.K. singer of You’ll Never Walk Alone soccer anthem, dies at 78

Gerry Marsden, the British singer who was instrumental in turning a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel into one of the great anthems in the world of football, has died. He was 78.

His friend Pete Price said on Instagram after speaking to Marsden’s family that the Gerry and the Pacemakers frontman died after a short illness related to a heart infection.

“I’m sending all the love in the world to (his wife) Pauline and his family,” he said. “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Marsden was the lead singer of the band that found fame in the Merseybeat scene in the 1960s. Though another Liverpool band — The Beatles — reached superstardom, Gerry and the Pacemakers will always have a place in the city’s consciousness because of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

“I thought what a beautiful song. I’m going to tell my band we’re going to play that song,” Marsden told The Associated Press in 2018 when recalling the first time he heard the song at the cinema. “So I went back and told my buddies we’re doing a ballad called You’ll Never Walk Alone.

WATCH | Gerry Marsden performs You’ll Never Walk Alone at Liverpool game:

Marsden is best known for his band’s rendition of the song from Carousel, which was a 1945 musical that became a feature film in 1956.

The Pacemakers’ cover version was released in October 1963 and became the band’s third No. 1 hit on the British singles chart.

It was adopted by fans of the soccer club Liverpool and is sung with spine-tingling passion before each home game of the 19-time English champion — before coronavirus restrictions have meant that many matches have been played in empty stadiums.

Its lyrics, showcasing unity and perseverance through adversity — including “When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high, And don’t be afraid of the dark” — have been a rallying cry for the Liverpool faithful and the song’s title are on the Liverpool club crest.


A ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ banner is seen prior to a match between Liverpool and West Ham United in Liverpool, England, in October 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool/Getty Images)

The song has also been adopted by supporters of Scotland’s Celtic and Germany’s Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool tweeted alongside a video of the fans in full voice that Marsden’s voice “accompanied our biggest nights” and that his “anthem bonded players, staff and fans around the world, helping create something truly special.”

‘Liverpool legend’

The song was embraced during the outset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring when a cover of the song, which featured Second World War veteran Tom Moore, reached number one. Moore had captivated the British public by walking 100 laps of his garden in England in the run-up to his 100th birthday in April to raise some 33 million pounds ($ 57 million Cdn) for the National Health Service.

The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the music venue which was the venue for many of The Beatles’ early gigs, described Marsden as a “legend” and a “very good friend.”


Marsden leaps over fellow Gerry & the Pacemakers band members in this April 1964 photo. (PA via AP)

In 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed up the band and their first three releases reached No. 1 in 1963 — How Do You Do It? and I Like It as well as You’ll Never Walk Alone. Later hits included Ferry Cross the Mersey and Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying. The group split in 1967 and Marsden pursued a solo career before reforming the band a few years later.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson, who is from Liverpool and covered Ferry Across The Mersey tweeted that Marsden was a “Liverpool legend.”

Marsden is survived by his wife Pauline, whom he married in 1965. The couple had two daughters.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News